Politeness a Mixed Blessing for Journalist in Japan

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A journalist traveling in Japan doesn't face some of the obstacles of foreign reporting: no border guards demanding bribes, no explosions, no cars breaking down in the desert. No, the major obstacle in Japan is probably politeness, says David Kestenbaum, who was there for NPR's Climate Connections series.

Kestenbaum says he loves Japan: "When I bought a soda at a convenience store, the cashier bowed as he gave me my change."

But he acknowledges that the people's politeness posed a problem for him: "Some people were so polite, I had no idea what they were actually thinking."

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